Archive for February, 2009

More Snow Dyeing

February 25, 2009

Oh WOW, am I ever thrilled with the last 2 days of snow dyeing. The colors are amazing and the crystalized designs are wonderful.

The snow I’m using is very powdery, and I’m not drying the fabric after it has been soaked in soda ash. I simply squeeze it out, and scrunch it on the plastic basket. It seems everyone else is drying the fabric before they put the snow on top, so I thought it was important to let you all know I’m not doing that.

The following pictures are Kona’s cotton/bamboo fabric from my website:



I used only 2 colors – black and rose. The black really broke down into lots of blues and greens, and turned the rose various values of mauve.

These are Kona’s Pfd bleached white 100% cotton fabric:




Wanting more color, I mixed up some yellow dye concentrate this time. I used 2 colors on the right side – yellow and rose, and 3 colors on the left side – black, yellow and rose. I absolutely adore this color combination.

And the last one is a Kona black and white print:


I used the same 3 colors and again, I absolutely adore how these colors blended. My husband is so sick of hearing me say, “Can you believe this? Aren’t these colors gorgeous?” LOL 

More pearl cotton was dyed along with some cotton lace trim – for my crazy quilt projects.  One of the ties on my pearl cotton skein came apart, and it’s going to take me quite awhile to salvedge this skein.  Lots of patience, and some Pepperidge Farm Extra Cheddar Gold fish will be needed to get the job done.  Wish me luck!!!



Snow Dyeing

February 21, 2009

We had a lovely gentle snowfall the past couple of days, and I succumbed to the allure of snow dyeing.  It’s been a topic on the dyer’s list and I didn’t think I’d like dyeing fabric this way.  Was I ever wrong. 

It’s really easy, you get wonderful colors, and surprise, surprise, the excess dye rinses out quickly and easily.  This is great for the ecosystem. 

I buy a lot of my dyes from ProChem – as I’m on the east coast and shipping is less expensive for me.  I used grape 801, navy 412, and created a nice blue green color by using equal parts of 402 mixing blue with 108 sun yellow.  The dye concentrate was 6% , and used I about 150 ml of concentrate on each batch. 

A  little plastic drawer with grid like openings in the bottom came in very handy.  It was placed upside down in a larger plastic container to catch the melted snow/dye solution:


The fabric was scoured in Synthrapol and pretreated with soda ash, then scrunched on top of the basket.  I tried to get a good 3″ of snow on top, but it was so light and fluffy, it kept on falling down the sides of the container. 

The first batch was a linen/rayon blend I purchased at JoAnns – one of their 70% off bargains I purchased last summer – and I placed a scrunched layer of cheesecloth on top:


The linen/rayon blend is a hefty material, but I still got some nice crystalized sections:


And you can see the plastic basket indentions in this photo:


The second batch was a couple of yards of Osnaburg:

I used way too much dye on this.  I should have left more white areas.  It looks good to me, but this fabric yielded very little crystalized sections – I think because of not leaving enough white on the snow surface, and because of the fabric properties – nubby surface and thicker thread than quilting cottons.

I swear, I see a green rose in this piece.  There is a light area behind it, but am I the only one who “sees” that green rose?

I also dyed some Perle cotton thread for my crazy quilt embroidery and used old men’s handkerchiefs to wipe up as I was dyeing everything.  It saves on using a lot of paper towels, and I end up with some gorgeous hand dyed handkerchiefs. 

I have company coming for supper tonight, but plan on trying one more batch tomorrow – this time with a fine cotton.  I think I’ll get very different results, and I’ll use some different colors too. 


Ogden Library Fiber Art Meeting

February 20, 2009

Yesterday was art group day and it was a very good meeting. 

Karen brought 2 “new to us” tools – a Clover folding pen and a scrapbook fine point glue pen.  Everybody was quick to write down the product names  as we all thought they could be used with lots of different types of projects.

Then she showed us a necklace she had made with a cabochon:


Is that not drop dead gorgeous?  The photo does not do this justice. 

Lucy was next and she showed us a couple of her necklaces.  The photo with a necklace where she used a cabochon has a big blob of light from the flash in the middle, so I didn’t put it up, but it was beautiful.  She was kind enough to show us how to secure a cabochon to a backing, so we could all try this for ourselves.  I love making purses and want to try her technique so I can use one as a closure. 

Then she showed us the necklace she had started at the last meeting:


Is this not another drop dead gorgeous piece of beading?  It’s so elegant. 

Margaret did some snow dyeing.  Her shirt came out great.  I love the way the colors mixed and it looks terrific on her:


She also helped me with my Strive for Five pillowcase project.  My local quilt club GVQC, Inc has asked members to make pillowcases for local non-profit organizations that serve a wide variety of people from small children to elderly veterans as part of our Quilt Festival 2009.    Margaret showed a neat techinque for assembling the pillowcases, and her demonstration today was terrific.  I’ll post pictures of all the steps as soon as I finish one.  It’s really neat and encloses the edging  band with only one step. 

I showed my painted fusible pieces and they were a big hit.  Everyone wanted to try it, so we’ll be painting fusibles at the next meeting.  Everyone should be back from vacation next month, so there should be quite a few pieces painted.  


Slicing and Dicing and Fusing – # 2

February 18, 2009

Another quilt block today using the slicing, dicing and fusing technique and one that I really don’t like.


I was attempting to create depth by using light colored fabrics for the background. Lights are supposed to recede in a design, and the vertical strips were also cool – blues, aquas and violets. I think they were a bit too bright for the background fabric and come forward more than I wanted.

Using a warm based color for the horizontal strips, should make them the most prominent part of the block, but it’s just not working for me. Keep tuned though, because I plan on using this as the base for the first quilt in Jane Davila’s and Elin Waterson’s Art Quilt Workbook.


Slicing and Dicing and Fusing Today

February 15, 2009

I had an absolute blast today trying a slice and dice quilt technique that appealed to me.  I’m the orderly type, and most of my attempts at slice and dice have been too random for my design sensiblity.  Curves are fine, in fact curves are good, so are diagonal lines, but I simply don’t possess the courage to wield my rotary cutter with abandon – yet. 

Today’s technique came from an old book I own – Embellishments  Adding Glamour to Garments by Linda Fry Kenzle – page 75.  I just so happened to have a box of 3″ fabric squares, and randomly selected 16 of them to make a quilt square.Then the fun starts by slicing into the patchwork square to add varying widths of fabric strips.  I stuck to adding one color – black and did not bother measuring them.  The first cutting added some vertical strips:


The second and third cuttings added some horizontal strips:

And the last black strip was fused in place:

This last strip was painted with a new-to-me product – Perfect Pearls Metallics by Ranger  JoAnns, Etc sells them, but they do not carry the Perfect Fabric Medium.  Golden GAC 900 Fabric Painting Medium to the rescue.   The metallics are a powder and you add a little to the medium to custom make your paint.

The package says it works best on dark paper or fabric and that info is spot on.  Being inquisitive, I had to test it for myself, and painted a piece of muslin, and a piece of black cotton fabric.  No contest – the paint shows up much better on the black cotton fabric.  The muslin looks washed out and you lose a lot of the glitz.  It’d be great for a dreamscape, but I wanted my fabric to sparkle and the Perfect Bronze really stands out on the black fabric.

The fusing idea was mine, and if you really wanted to, you could fuse all the strips, instead of cutting then sewing, cutting then sewing, etc…   I usually sew along the edges of anything I fuse, so it pretty much well would take just as much time to fuse and sew the edges down, as slicing and dicing.  Plus, I do think the 2 techniques create different visual effects.  The sliced and diced strips are integrated into the background, while the fused strip seems to float across the top.   It’s all a matter of perspective, but one I am looking forward to exploring.


Painted Bondaweb Swap Completed

February 9, 2009

The painted bondaweb pieces arrived from the DyeHard Swap last week.  What a great mail day!!!

Betty started with a piece of hand dyed fabric, then fused the Dye-na-Flo painted WonderUnder to the fabric.  Next, she added a delicate leaf.  I really like this piece and am very happy that it wasn’t made into a postcard.  Now it can be included in a future art quilt.   Thank-you, Betty:

Gena sent a fabulous postcard using Steam-A-Seam Lite.  She layered color after color on this piece, did some free motion quilting, and then added yet another layer of color.  All I can say is WOW: 


Kathy sent a lovely piece of fabric using painted WonderUnder.  Her colors are soft and restful, and remind me of water on a perfect summer day.  The couched threads compliment the background fabric perfectly and announce to one and all – it’s time for a beach party!!!

Marijke also started with a piece of hand dyed fabric, then fused black painted Bondaweb to the fabric.  She highlighted areas wtih gold foil.  This is a dramatic postcard, with an organic feel to it:



Sharing small art pieces with fellow artists means a lot to me.  We learn new techniques, make new friends, and I have been enriched by this experience.  Thank-you very much ladies for this opportunity.  I love each and every piece.